AN Orange resident who fell foul of the notorious Victoria Pass speed camera has had a costly lesson in the merits of reading the fine print.
Although he was the innocent party in the affair an unfortunate time lapse meant he was the one facing justice in Lithgow Court.
On August 8 last year, 28-year-old Ryan Pearson and his brother Blake were returning from Sydney mid afternoon when Blake took over the driving of Ryan’s car.
At the top of Victoria Pass the car was recorded on the speed camera at 94 kph in the 60 zone.
A short time later Ryan Pearson received his penalty notice from Roads and Maritime, based on the vehicle registration.
Magistrate Michael Allen was told that Blake had subsequently signed a statutory declaration that he had been the driver at the time.
But that, as it turned out, was not going to deter RMS from prosecuting the innocent brother.
Unrecognised by the brothers was the RMS requirement in speed camera prosecutions for the driver to be identified within 21 days.
Otherwise the prosecution of the registered owner remains, firmly tied up in bureaucratic red tape.
And that’s what happened in this case.
Magistrate Allen was presented with the statutory declarations but he too had few options.
Mr Allen did not record a conviction but the real sting in the RMS tail was still to come; Ryan Pearson was ordered to pay the RMS $1800 in professional costs — a costly time lapse indeed.
The Victoria Pass cameras were originally installed as an elapsed time monitor to deter heavy vehicle speeding.
Later the RMS decided to add general speed cameras to the gantry at the top of the incline.
Since that time it has been frequently criticised as a cash trap for the RMS rather than a genuine contributor to road safety at that particular location.
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